Monday, December 27, 2010

Toyota sends four Hilux to Antartica - conquers final continent

Reality copies Clarkson

We all know how much Jeremy Clarkson thinks that Toyotas are boring but he also thinks highly of the Hilux pickup truck, the most indestructible four-wheel vehicle in the world.

It seems that Toyota has bought into the idea and sent four specially kitted Hilux into the depths of Antartica, transporting member of the Indian National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR). Gallery and Toyota's Press Release below

Actually Toyota didn't send the Hilux, it was NCAOR who chose the vehicle, presumably after watching Clarkson and gang try to break it, unsuccessfully.

The Hilux were prepared by ArcticTruc, specialists in cold weather modding and according to Toyota the Hilux were actually faster than any equivalent antarctic vehicle and used less fuel, well I guess we will now see the Hilux littering Antartica... the only continent it has yet to conquer

They should have brought the Top Gear camera crew with them and let Clarkson, May and Richard Hammon mess it up in a funny and entertaining way.

Press release after the gallery



- Four Hilux travel over 4,600 km across Antarctica with temperature down to minus 56°C and altitude of 3,400 m.
- Lower fuel consumption and higher average speed than any equivalent Antarctic vehicle.
- Adapted by Icelandic 4X4 conversion specialists Arctic Trucks to tackle the extreme terrain and condition.
- 3.0-litre D-4D diesel unchanged for the expedition, demonstrating legendary Hilux Quality, Durability and Reliability.

The unstoppable Toyota Hilux is already renowned for its capacity to overcome any extreme challenge, from driving to the North Pole to conquering the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull. Now, the Hilux has successfully completed yet another extraordinary journey, travelling across the coldest, most hostile environment in the world, Antarctica, to reach the South Pole.

Between 10th November and 5th December 2010, four Hilux transported expedition members of the Indian National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR) -studying snow chemistry, the glacial landscapes and the bedrock hidden beneath the ice- on a 4,600 km round trip from Novo Air Base, to the South Pole, and safely back.

The four Hilux vehicles were produced at Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM), the main volume supply base for the European market, and were adapted by Icelandic Toyota 4x4 conversion specialists, Arctic Trucks, for the month-long expedition. Arctic Trucks has long ranked the Hilux its first choice amongst equivalent vehicles thanks to its proven, 40 year record of Quality, Durability and Reliability (QDR) under even the most extreme driving conditions.

Faced with extreme weather, average temperatures of below -40oC and peaks of -56oC, altitudes of over 3,400 m and the most brutal driving environment imaginable, NCAOR selected the Hilux for this remarkable expedition as it combines several exceptional attributes essential to survival on the world's harshest continent.

Firstly, given the extreme conditions, it has proven very low comparable fuel consumption of 50 l/100 km. Even with the use of less energy-efficient Jet 1A fuel, the vehicle engine running 24/7 and running extra heating system constantly on, this figure is 5 to 8 times lower than that achieved by tracked vehicles. This significantly reduces both transported fuel loads and fuel costs (one barrel of oil in Antarctica can cost $10,000). With this fuel efficiency, the expedition could rely on only one refueling point, established some 1,500 km from the journey starting point - Maitri Antarctica station.

Secondly, the Hilux has a uniquely high load carrying capacity. It combines a low unladen weight of just 2.2 tons with a payload capacity of 1.5 tons and a towing capacity of 3 tons – an essential attribute when carrying the expedition equipment, spare parts and participants, as well as 1,280 liters of fuel per vehicle.

Thirdly, this expedition maintained a faster average speed than any comparable expedition had previously attained.

Although the four vehicles required a degree of adaptation to tackle Antarctica's uniquely extreme driving conditions, it is testament to the Hilux's legendary Quality, Durability and Reliability that its 3.0 D-4D diesel engine remained entirely unchanged for the expedition.

Necessary modifications made by Arctic trucks included the integration of a crane to lift heavy equipment and fuel, the use of Jet 1A fuel with additional lubricants to tackle the extreme cold, revised front/rear suspension and drivetrain, extra heating system, crawler gears, crevasse protection and the fitment of extra large tires with a pressure as low as 2 psi (regular Hilux tyres have a pressure of 2.9 psi).

Sold in over 160 countries and global leader in the pick-up segment, the Hilux performed throughout its latest, gruelling challenge. Making the NCAOR expedition possible through its unique combination of fuel efficiency, speed, load capacity and reliability, the Hilux has once again pushed back the boundaries of extreme endurance driving.

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